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JISHOU, HUNAN — Riddle me this, Steve Jobs. Why is my dead iPod Shuffle once again working properly, after two years of sitting unused in a desk drawer?

Two years ago this fall, my iPod stopped holding a charge. I would charge it up, even overnight, and within minutes of using it would go dead again. Finally, I chucked it into a desk drawer and bought a new music player in disgust.

Well, that drawer had turned into a junk pile, so yesterday I had some spare time and decided to clean it out.

Before tossing stuff out, I like to see if it really is fubar’d. My deceased Palm Treo 680 is now even deader than before, if that’s possible. The phone ignores the charger entirely – not even a lit LED to show it’s connected. Then, I tried charging the iPod, once from the USB connection and once from the AC charger. I got the same result: the iPod acted liked it was fully charged already.


So, I fired up iTunes, and loaded some music onto the Shuffle. And guess what? The danged thing has been playing music through my speakers since yesterday morning — not continuously, but the way it’s supposed to.

I know I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but what gives here? Does my bottom desk drawer have magical restorative powers? And if it does, why couldn’t it also revive my Treo? (No loss there, really.) Or does leaving your iPod alone for two years in the dark make it lonely and desperate for your attention?

Perhaps only Steve Jobs knows, if any mortal can.